Several questionable confirmations for Student Government (SG) positions shed light on SG’s lack of foresight and ability to prevent the potential abuse of the appointment system.
However, the SG Senate acted responsibly by passing a new hiring procedure statute on Tuesday that affects all student-held positions within SG, except for student-elected officials or divisions like SAFE Team.
The lack of proper hiring procedures was on blatant display in June, when Michael Rannon, former director of Bulls Radio who worked for the station for five years, was replaced by Brett Farrar, an individual who had no previous experience in radio and who was hired by his fraternity brother, student body Vice President Spencer Montgomery.
Before the changes, the hiring procedures allowed for the executive branch of student body President Cesar Hernandez and Montgomery to choose from applicants without any oversight and, in at least one instance in July, hire individuals who never applied for the positions for which they were hired into.
The changes now call for a committee to review applicants and make recommendations to the student body president and then interview the top three candidates before making a final decision.
Allowing the executive branch excessive authority in the hiring process only encourages the type of behavior that has led many to feel that SG is more of an exclusive fraternal order than a democratic representation of the entire student body.
Khalid Hassouneh, chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules, said to The Oracle that “very few” of the 150 applicants who applied in July were actually interviewed, further demonstrating the necessity for a Senate response.
Director positions that appointees become responsible for are complex, requiring a degree of experience and qualification relevant to the position.
Choosing an unqualified individual to serve as director of departments like Student Life and Traditions, Bulls Radio or Governmental Affairs is irresponsible and jeopardizes the departments’ and University’s character and ability to function properly.
Though this issue should have been addressed by earlier SG generations, the current Senate deserves praise for coming together to attack a seemingly long-standing, unethical practice that didn’t give all student applicants a chance to take an active part in their SG.
Now, students must do their part by continuing to apply for SG positions that test the new statute. Allowing past frustrations to stifle one’s ambitions would be a waste of the worthwhile effort undertaken by the Senate.